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Duku, Langsat and Longkong

December 4, 2010

Sometimes when you go to a Chiang Mai market you see longan-like fruits with a thin rind and a flesh composed of whitish segments like an orange. This species, Lansium domesticum (Meliaceae), can be divided into three main varieties. “Langsat” from northern Malaysia is characterised by a greyish yellow rind and a lot of latex. “Duku” from southern Malaysia lacks latex and is larger and easier to peel. “Longkong” is a Thai sterile cross between langsat and duku, lacking latex. The Thais fiercely defend their Longkong as the superior fruit. The fruit is a member of the mahogany family, and native to the rainforests of the Malayan peninsula. Unlike mangosteen, Lansium domesticum is an old fruit, mentioned by the Chinese from Java in 1413. We grow the plant at Dokmai Garden, but being native to rainforest areas, growth is not quick here in the monsoon areas.

Langsat from the Hang Dong market in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Leo permalink
    February 26, 2011 9:17 PM

    I got me this grafted fruit tree about three years ago, 3 feet tall now in Southern CA and the tag says “Duku Longkong”. Does it mean that this is the Thai cross variety or something else? Thanks for any help since I really need a confirmation on this. Also, any inducer to flower?

    • February 27, 2011 8:48 AM

      Dear Leo,

      Yes, the label is a bit cryptic. My interpretation would be species: duku (The Malayan/English word for Lansium domesticum) variety: longkong.

      Being from Malaysia the plant needs a wet/moist climate. Our young specimens grow best in the shade where we wash the dishes. Phosphorus can in many cases be the magic wand for making flowers and fruits. However, your specimen is young, so I should advice boosting it with nitrogen to make it bulk more, and then switch to phosphorus.

      Good luck!

      Eric

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